Fr. Joe's Letter

Fr. Joe’s Letter

Mar 1, 2023

As March begins, can spring be very far off?  This year it seems that spring has been here for a while.  I hope that March doesn’t bring any surprises.  Looking back to 2015, Lake Erie was 94% frozen, and the year before that it was 95.5% frozen.  This year one would be hard pressed to find an ice cube on Lake Erie.  I hope and pray to God that it stays that way!

On this Second Sunday of Lent we hear in the Gospel the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mt. Tabor.  Here, Jesus shows Peter, James, and John His glory as the Son of God and God the Father speaks to them revealing Jesus as His beloved Son.  Jesus continues to reveal the glory of God in many ways in the world today through His creation and those who choose to do His will.  The love of God comes to us through many different people and circumstances in our lives even in the ones that we may not be able to appreciate at the moment.

The Psalms urge us to give thanks to God in all things.  We are asked to give thanks to God even when things go wrong, or people do things or say things that may hurt us in some way.  When we do this, we invite God to bring good out of the bad things that happen in the world around us.  God can do this and has done it consistently throughout the history of time.  God would never allow evil without the possibility of good coming from it.  The good also depends on us and how we respond to the trials and tribulations in our lives.  He will never stop doing this and there is no reason to think that He will.  After all, God can never change, He remains the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Lent is the time for us to grow in our love for God and if that is to happen, we must try to see Him as He is, just as the apostles did on Mt. Tabor at the Transfiguration.  We cannot only see God when we go to Mass, we can also receive the gift of the Eucharist which is the gift of God Himself.  We can let the Body and Blood of the Lord be our true food that nourishes and strengthens us so that we can follow Jesus more closely and let Him do good things for us even when evil creeps into our lives.

Last week we started to use the Apostles Creed on Sundays as our Profession of Faith during Mass.  This is an option that is given in the Roman Missal.  The Apostles Creed is the most ancient expression of our faith and we should be familiar with both the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed that we normally use.  The words to the Apostles Creed are in the new hymnal on page 13 if you are not familiar with them. We will be using the Apostles Creed through the Lenten and Easter Season.

The Boy Scout Spaghetti Dinner last Saturday was very successful.  Many people came out to enjoy the delicious food and fellowship.  Thanks to all who made the dinner possible.  May God bless you for supporting our scouts.

Remember that during the season of Lent we pray the Stations of the Cross each Wednesday afternoon with the school children, the times will vary because of the school schedule so check the bulletin for the correct timeWe also pray the Stations of the Cross on Friday evening at 7 PM in the church.  The Stations of the Cross are a very sacred tradition in the Church and a very prayerful way to remember the sufferings and death of Jesus, which He endured for love of us.

RECONCILIATION.  This Holy Season of Lent is a very important time for us to seek the Lord’s mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Jesus gave us this sacrament so that we might confess our sins and be forgiven.  In this sacrament Jesus gives us the grace we need to truly change our lives and turn to Him.  When we admit that we have sinned and are willing to go and confess our sins we can draw great grace and strength from Jesus so that we can love Him as we should and follow Him more closely in our daily lives.  This year our diocesan wide Evening of Reconciliation will be on Wednesday, March 8, from 5 to 8 PM in all the churches throughout the diocese.  Our parish Communal Penance for Lent will be on Monday, March 13, at 7 PM in the church.  Do not be afraid to approach Jesus in confession.  He is waiting for you, and He is calling you to come to Him with all His love.  Immerse yourself in His ocean of mercy just as He told St. Faustina.

Fr. Joe Labak